The Parish Church and the Cathedral

200 THE CHURCHMAN Theological Seminary where he made a special study of Kierkegaard. He is now on the Faculty of the Episcopal Theological School wh...
Author: Edmund Moody
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Theological Seminary where he made a special study of Kierkegaard. He is now on the Faculty of the Episcopal Theological School where he is Assistant Professor in the Department of Theology and Philosophy of Religion. I have the impression that one of the results of the Lambeth Conference has been to make English Churchmen much more aware of the importance of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S.A., and my hope is that this issue of The Churchman, in the editing of which it has been my privilege to collaborate, will provide useful information and at the same time will help to promote mutual understanding and good will amongst those who in both countries are seeking to bear witness to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Parish Church and the Cathedral BY CANON CHARLES

W. F.



HE past summer has afforded through the Lambeth Conference T an opportunity for the churches of the Anglican Communion to know each other and their bishops. One wonders, however, whether the clergy and laity who saw and heard them were able to form any impression of the ordinary Church life in America. An Englishwoman who was coming to marry a parishioner here wrote to ask if there were an " English Church " in one of the cities in which she might be married-on the analogy of the churches each Church maintains in Europe. Other " war brides " on arrival have had to have it explained to them that the Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S.A. is the American equivalent of the Church of England. The new arrival attending services here feels at home, though conscious of some unease and frustration because of slight differences accentuated by many similarities. The type of building, the robes of the ministers, the Book of Common Prayer and the order of service are all familiar. A mixed choir is often at first disconcerting, and the gradually observed verbal differences at points in the service, even in the Lord's Prayer. But on the whole the life of the parish and its Sunday worship is recognizably the same. Wherein, then, lies the very real difference and the American character of this Church ? They lie beneath the surface in its constitution and social habits and in its position in the community. The Church is free and must take its chances with the rest, and the great bulk of its membership comes from those who choose it and are attracted to it. The Church is not established and must therefore win its way on its own inherent virtues. I should estimate that fully half of my own thousand communicants have come into the Episcopal



Church since adolescence-that is, they were not " brought up " as "Episcopalians." This represents a constant need for missionary work and education, but it also makes for a keenness and interest sometimes sadly lacking in " hereditary " churchmen. There is obviously no such distinction in the public mind as that which used to prevail in England between "church" and "chapel." Parishes have geographical boundaries only in a few older dioceses and even there rarely determine parochial membership or attendance. Neither is the Church endowed. Some parishes have endowment funds, occasionally quite large, frequently limited to special purposes. But the parishes which depend upon income from property or investments are the exception and are likely to be old, " downtown " parishes of historical interest. The general truth holds that a parish living on endowment is likely to be less active than others. The lack of endowment means that everything has to be provided by the parishioners-including the upkeep of the clergy and bishops. Where a church receives outside assistance it falls into the category of " aided parish " or " mission," normally not entitled to full privilege in the affairs of the diocese. How the Church is maintained and how the parish functions may best be indicated by a brief description of my own parish of St. Andrew's in Wellesley, Mass., in the diocese of Massachusetts (there is a second diocese in the same State). THE PARISH oF ST. ANDREw's WELLESLEY Wellesley is a widespread suburban township with several "centres" (for shopping, etc.) within it, consisting of middle-class homes on the periphery of Boston, thirteen miles from the city proper. There is no industry. Most of its residents travel daily (or "commute") to the city to work and nearly all own their own houses. It is an important educational centre with Wellesley College (a widely-known, first-rank women's college), three other boarding schools for girls and young women, and a business college for men. St. Andrew's is the one Episcopal parish, though another just over the town-boundary draws some of its membership from Wellesley. Attached to the parish are some 600 families, and others are in some way reached by it. Its membership-all baptized persons of every age-numbers over 1,600, of whom just about 1,000 are communicants. These are served by a church of attractive design (grown from a tiny mission structure of sixty years ago), much too small for its membership, with an equally inadequate parish hall, plus a separate house in which rooms are used for offices and classes. Its paid, full-time staff consists of the rector, an assistant rector, and a parish secretary. Also paid, but not on a full-time basis, are a director of religious education, an organist and choirmaster, and a sexton. There is no endowment or outside support. The annual budget, including the clergy and other salaries, its share in the support of the diocese, the national church and missions (both domestic and foreign) amounts to nearly $28,000. This sum is provided in two ways-by annual " pledges " and by the free offerings at services. Most of the families promise an annual sum which is paid either by remittance to the treasurer periodically or through a weekly envelope placed in the



offering. The free offerings come largely from visitors and students attending the services. No offering goes to the clergy, and no fees are required for their services. No fairs or sales or other devices are now resorted to for the support of the parish proper. The budget is prepared by the Vestry (including sums which are asked by the diocese and for the mission work of the national church-there are no voluntary missionary societies as in England), and the pledges are secured in an annual "Every Member Canvass". Parish affairs are ordered by the democratic Annual Meeting in January. Then there are elected two wardens, a treasurer, a clerk (all honorary) and three new vestrymen who take the places of three whose three-year term has expired and who are ineligible for immediate re-election. In St. Andrew's the Vestry always includes two women, one to represent the women of he parish and the other the college women. The four officers and nine members constitute the Vestry under the chairmanship of the rector and direct affairs between annual meetings. The annual meeting also elects three lay delegates to the Diocesan Convention and representatives to the meeting of the Archdeaconry. All the elections are important as in the event of a vacancy in the rectorship the Vestry (with the bishop's consent) elects and appoints a new rector, and the Diocesan Convention, consisting of the clergy and lay delegates, provides for the support of the episcopate and diocesan work, and when a vacancy occurs chooses (with the consent of the other dioceses) a new bishop. Within the parish life are a number of organisations. The Sunday school has over 300 children and is partly self-supporting. The children contribute for their own supplies and offerings to missions and other benevolences, and the parish supplies the services of the director, a 'bus to bring children from outlying areas, and the organist to train the junior choir. The women's work is embraced under a parish branch of the diocesan Church Service League. It meets as a parish unit monthly. Subsidiary groups within it meet and work independently as, for example, the Altar Guild which cares for the sanctuary, the guild which does sewing for missions and makes dressings for the Red Cross and hospitals, the missions study group, and others with special interests. The work is maintained financially by annual contributions, by a yearly rummage sale and by occasional "fairs" for special projects. The men conduct a Men's Club which meets monthly and sponsors a " ship " of Sea Scouts. Recently a " Couples Club " has become established where young married people and parents of small children hear speakers and hold discussions on problems related to a Christian home life. The adolescents have a Young People's Fellowship which meets on Sunday evenings. A Parish Council gathers the heads of all these and other organisations for the purpose of co-ordinating the programme and securing a general unity of emphasis for the year. The clergy are usually to be found in their offices each morning (each has three mornings for "office-hours" when he may be consulted}, do parish calling in the afternoons, and find most evenings occupied by meetings in the parish or connected with some wider interest. The service which the parish renders, however, to those Episc6-



palians who live here for nine or more months each year as students and professors provides the church with its most significant opportunity beyond its parochial function. It has a chance to minister to at least 800 in this way. With them the clergy try to establish contact and to nurture their Christian life while away from their homes at a formative period of their lives when their studies cause doubts and confusion to arise. Corporate communions followed by breakfast are supplemented by a "Canterbury Club" which gives them an opportunity to meet each other as members of the same Church, to come to know the clergy, and to discuss in a non-academic atmosphere subjects of mutual interest. Students are always to be found at the services, some help with the choir and Sunday school, a number are prepared for Confirmation (and sometimes for Baptism), and an increasing number come to the clergy for private consultation. A growing ministry to this group, coupled with the increase of the local population and the growth of the congregation has necessitated the building of a large addition to the parish hall. The high costs have deferred for the moment an intended enlargement of the church itself. The new building will provide staff offices and other rooms for meetings and classes in place of the inadequate house at present in use. The cost of over $100,000 is being met entirely by the parishioners. It is my policy as rector to lay the final responsibility for financial and material affairs upon the laity (in effect the Vestry), and when this is done the response is more than satisfying. The people discover, develop and use talents within the membership which the clergy obviously could not match at all points and could exercise only at the expense of their proper spiritual function. This second difference from the English scene, therefore, produced by lack of endowment, makes for a kind of independence, self-reliance and keen interest which the English visitor, clergy or lay, would doubtless find quite interesting and perhaps suggestive. Little need be said about the services as they are those customary in all parts of our communion. The Holy Communion is celebrated every Sunday at least once (as it is in this parish), and the services based on Morning Prayer are duplicated each Sunday morning to provide space for all who wish to attend. It is our present effort to make them all "family services," the children leaving for their classes after the third collect on most Sundays. Every service (including the "early" service) has its ministry of the Word in the form of a short meditation on the " propers " or a sermon, and in every case a unity of theme in hymns, music and teaching, based upon the lections or Church season, is emphasised. Where so many attend from other parishes of wide variations in churchmanship and so many are new to the church, all extremes are avoided, brief instructions in Church ways are always included, the flexibility which the American Prayer Book permits by rubric is taken advantage of to provide variety (apart from the Sacraments), the services last exactly an hour except when the festivals bring an unusually large number of communions, and the teaching is Evangelical, Biblecentred, aware of current intellectual and social problems and directed in the main to the theologically and ecclesiastically uninformed, and



particularly to interests of a predominantly young constituency. Two differences might be noted. The American climate has long dictated a partial cessation of most activities during the three months of the summer when all schools are closed (two services are maintained every Sunday but organisations work on a nine or ten month basis) and the modern social habits have caused evening services generally to fall into abeyance. Practically all services and the Sunday school are therefore held on Sunday mornings. The notable exceptions in this parish are the Lenten week-night services and the Holy Communions on Christmas Eve and Maundy Thursday. The English visitor would undoubtedly be impressed by the warmth of the services and the participation of the congregations and, in general, by the directness and relevance of the preaching in most parish churches. To sum up; it is a people's church. They choose their own ministers and are responsible for their support and for the work and its extension. The clergy give their leadership and have authority in spiritual matters only and in control of the worship and music. Any tendency towards a more authoritatarian situation characteristic of some aspects of the Anglo-Catholic movement (not by any means of all) is, I think, still a clerical trend and that the laity of the Church are very generally simple churchmen, devoted to the Book of Common Prayer and its ways, free to seek services and clergy agreeable to their own convictions except where their membership in a mission to some extent puts them at the mercy of whatever ministry the diocese can or will provide. Constitutionally the laity have more power, and along with it, because of the unestablished and unendowed character of the Church, more immediate and pressing responsibilities. Without their support the bishops and clergy can do little and would soon be without financial provision. This does not mean that the clergy are dictated to, as the American Church has so far been blessed with real spiritual leadership (as perhaps the bishops present at Lambeth proved) and the churchpeople still respect their orders and learning and devotion. Aside from the differences caused by climate, social custom and history, an English churchman should have no difficulty in recognising us as part of one communion and fellowship and, we trust, of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ. THE CATHEDRAL IN AMERICAN CHURCH LIFE

One further aspect of American Church life which might strike the Englishman is the absence of the cathedrals which are so characteristic of the English scene. The colonial church, which was thought by the mother church unlikely to be able to support a bishop in proper style, was unlikely to embark on cathedral building. Then and ever since it has struggled to keep up with the need for adequate parish churches and related buildings. There are also present none of the historical antecedents which produced the majority of the great English fanes. Cathedrals-by name and some functions-do exist. Most conspicuous are those still in process on the grand scale in New York and Washington. Apart from these one finds every variety and, in some dioceses, none at all. Some have nothing resembling even a pro-



cathedral. The Bishop is, of course, provided with a residence and with an office elsewhere, usually in a suite of offices or a building maintained for diocesan purposes. Sometimes, not always, this is in a structure attached or related to a church. Of 86 dioceses and missionary jurisdictions in the United States, 28 seem to be without ea thedrals. The majority have what might be called " pro-cathedrals " in that the "cathedral" consists of a large parish church, "downtown" in the leading city of the diocese. It serves as the bishop's church, while its parish life continues and its rector serves as dean. The dean (contrary to the old English usage) is generally under the direction of the bishop, sometimes has no clergy to assist him and at most one or two, occasionally designated "canons" but not necessarily. As in the case of other parishes, there are seldom large endowments capable of supporting a chapter of canons. Parallels with the English system are therefore very hard to draw and might be quite misleading. Arrangements are made to suit the local situation which are not those of mediaeval or even more recent English life. Where the English pattern has been attempted it has usually been found cumbersome, impracticable or uneconomic. The diocese can hardly function without a centre, but where the dioceses are small (in proportion of people to bishop) and the bishop is able to visit each parish for Confirmation almost every year it does not necessarily need a church devoted exclusively to diocesan affairs. I The almost universal solution is a large city church with the rector as dean and a Vestry augmented by diocesan representatives. Usually (but not always) the most commodious in the diocese, it is used for services of a diocesan character-in particular, those associated with the meetings of the Diocesan Convention-and of a general nature, and here the bishop celebrates and preaches on the major festivals and on occasions of community or national significance. In many instances, however, the daily nerve-centre of the diocese is in the " Diocesan House "-a set of offices and conference rooms sometimes attached to the cathedral church but often a separate building. Occasionally the bishop has a private chapel in his residence and in some diocesan buildings (when separate from the church) there is a chapel which may be used for intercessions and for occasional confirmations, depositions, and the like. For example, the diocese of Massachusetts has a Diocesan House containing the offices of the two bishops and of all the departments of the diocese with their executive secretaries and staffs (finance, missions, education, social service, publications, etc.), a library, conference rooms and a small chapel. The cathedral is a charming parish church dating from early days, now in the heart of the shopping district, staffed by a dean and one or two assistants, ministering very effectively to the populace at large. It is not the largest church in Boston, so that diocesan services are held and bishops consecrated in the more famous and much larger Trinity Church of which Phillips Brooks was once rector. The diocese of Virginia has a commodious Diocesan House in the city of Richmond, Ordinations to the Diaconate are usually held in seminary chapels and to the Priesthood in the parish church where the ordinand is to serve.



augmented by a conference centre just outside the city, but has designated no church as pro-cathedral-historically it was always a largely rural diocese. Since the diocese covers a large area, Diocesan Conventions are held in various large towns in turn. The diocese of Washington has a Diocesan House near the centre of the capital of the United States and it contains a small chapel. The bishop's residence on the close of Washington Cathedral also has a private chapel. The uncompleted cathedral situated on a hill overlooking the city is used as the cathedral of the diocese but here the situation is unique. " THE NATIONAL CATHEDRAL "


The cathedrals in Washington and New York are more nearly akin to the English model in that they are not parish churches and have a staff of canons and were built to fulfil special functions. The Washington Cathedral is only, incidentally, the cathedral of the diocese (as implied by "is used" above). It is commonly (but not at all officially) known as " the National Cathedral." It has a "National Association" which assists in its building and maintenance by voluntary contributions, but is properly national only as far as the Protestant Episcopal Church is concerned and then only to the extent that the Presiding Bishop has there his official "cathedra" (he does not live in Washington but in Connecticut and his office is in New York) and has the privilege of using the cathedral whenever occasion warrants. The Dean and Canons are appointed by the Chapter on nomination of the Bishop of Washington who is president of the Chapter. The Chapter consists of laity as well as clergy not drawn necessarily from within the diocese. This peculiar situation arises from the circumstances of its foundation and purpose, a purpose which goes far beyond serving the diocese of Washington or even the Episcopal Church. A group of Episcopal laymen just before the end of the last century undertook to try to provide a worthy structure in the capital to fulfil President Washington's dream of a " church for national purposes". When the diocese was erected out of part of the diocese of Maryland the first bishop lent consecrated leadership to the task. A charter for the Cathedral Foundation granted by the United States Congress (unique in that very fact) stipulates that it shall be directed by a board of trustees (the Chapter) of which the chairman shall always be that bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church whose jurisdiction includes the city of Washington. This is virtually the only provision tying the cathedral to the church. In practice the chapter has always consisted of Episcopal clergy and laymen, but the wider Council, from which the operating conunittees are drawn, consists in addition of some members of other Protestant bodies. The sacraments have always been those of the Episcopal Church and its services predominantly those of the Prayer Book though not confined to them. The first work of the foundation was educational. There are now three excellent schools; for boys, for girls, and for young children respectively; and the unique institution known as the College of Preachers. The latter is a conference centre for the post-graduate



training of the clergy which also serves increasingly as the scene of conferences and meetings of many kinds, frequently " ecumenical " in character. There is a partially built library and other buildings in addition, all on the close. The building of the cathedral fabric was not started until 1907, and after an interruption in 1930 is to be resumed this year with additions to the south transept. The whole crypt is built, the choir and sanctuary, the north transept, and crossing (to the vaulting) and parts of two bays of the nave. It is designed to be " a house of prayer for all people." It has in actuality never drawn racial lines nor set up denominational barriers to attendance and participation. All Christians are invited to communion and its pulpit is frequently occupied by preachers of every Protestant Church and occasionally by distinguished Christian laymen (e.g. the Earl of Halifax, John R. Mott). Its "ecumenical" services have been notable and its services in the interests of the whole community. During the last war it pioneered in joint trans-Atlantic radio services with Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's in London. As a symbol in a city of symbols it is already finding its vocation as a silent exposition of the Christian faith as well as a valuable station for preaching the Gospel to the casual citizen (the diocesan canons designate it as a "mission"). Thousands of tourists pass through it in a steady stream under the direction of guides trained to expound its structure and iconography and the tourist may become a pilgrim. For an age rapidly becoming religiously illiterate it is reviving the ancient function of a cathedral as " a Bible in stone, wood, iron and glass." Because of its unified plan designed for this end, the more nearly complete it becomes the more effectively will it expound to the eye the Christian tradition. The cathedral has no parish, and being independent of diocesan functions and functionaries it may be staffed by canons chosen for their ability in special fields. Through this staff and the institutions growing up about it it is hoped that it may gradually become a national centre for the study of religious art and architecture, of music and liturgies, education and ministerial functions, and for experiment as well as research. The existing fabric already contains some of the finest examples of cathedral artisanship-notably its more recent stained glass and sculpture (the new statue of George Washington is, I think, the equal of any in existence), and a careful study and control is maintained over the additions made. Although Episcopal in essential character it has a growing significance of the kind its founders intended. Many notable services of national importance are held there (always remembering that no church is established and that the large body of Roman Catholics exclude themselves) in relation to conventions of national organisations, in the interest of wide common causes or matters of general concern, and· commemorative or actual funeral services of figures of national or civic importance. One cannot overlook its significance also as a burial place of eminent men and women, the right to interment being most carefully guarded. The British Embassy and colony find it a suitable and logical place for commemorations and memorial services (e.g. King George V, the Duke of Kent, Archbishop Temple,



the fifth anniversary of the Battle of Britain, and the funerals of Lord Lothian and Field Marshall Dill). Many British marriages and baptisms take place there. It provides (aside from inadequate seating space) an almost perfect setting for the rendition of great works of religious music and when more nearly complete may afford scope for the revival of Christian drama. Its capacity is already on many occasions overtaxed, and this not only imposes limitations but suggests that its full completion can be justified as perhaps so large a project could not be in any other place with the exception of New York. It is being built by contributions from members of all Protestant churches and will be completed only when it catches the imagination of sufficient numbers across the country. The city of Washington needs such a symbol and centre, worthy of the Faith it represents, and, since Washington is now a cross-roads of the world it may be no exaggeration to say the whole world needs it. Our covununion, standing between the Protestant and the Catholic traditions, is logically the one to undertake it as a trust for all. By virtue of its unique constitution, its location and its freedom, it has an almost unparalleled opportunity which in God's providence it will not fail.

The Training of Ministers in the ·Episcopal Church BY THE REv.





I N America nearly all clergymen receive their preparation for the ministry in theological seminaries, most of which are denominational, require a B.A. (or comparable) degree from a recognized college as a prerequisite to admission, and award the B.D. degree to men who complete their course satisfactorily. About two-thirds of the present Episcopal ministers studied in Episcopal seminaries ; and the remaining third are products of interdenominational schools, or of seminaries controlled by some other Communion in which they ministered before being ordained into ours, or of Canadian or British institutions. A handful read privately under the direction of a priest. The great majority of men come to our seminaries knowing next to nothing about the Bible, theology or Church history, and infected with the secularist philosophies prevalent in so many of our universities. Consequently, the period of residence in our seminaries is almost always three years, and a good many teachers think the time should be lengthened to four if our ordinands are to be instructed adequately in the traditional theological disciplines and in pastoralia, and above all if they are to assimilate and make their own the Christian faith and ethic.